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The Best Temples in Bangkok

Connect with Spiritual Thailand on your trip by exploring the best temples in Bangkok! While Thailand’s capital is home to countless temples and sacred attractions, from the ornate Grand Palace to the stunning Wat Arun, visitors may be surprised to learn that many smaller, lesser-known locations are amongst the most revered in the city.

Spend a day (or two!) temple-hopping around Bangkok to learn more about the diverse representations of spirituality. Though primarily a mixture of Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, Thai spirituality also encompasses Brahman, Chinese, and Khmer traditions. Echoed by the diverse population that calls Bangkok home, there truly is something for everyone, and a spiritual spot for everyone to encounter the divine, however they define it.

Check out the free “Connecting to Spiritual Thailand: A Guide to 60 Powerspots” e-book, developed by Palotai Design, to learn all about the unique history and importance behind some of Bangkok’s most spiritual places.

Lak Muang Shrine Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Lak Muang Shrine

City pillar shrines hold great importance in Thailand and can be found throughout the country. Bangkok’s city pillar shrine, or Lak Muang Shrine, is one of the most ancient and sacred in the Kingdom. Not only does the City Pillar represent the founding of the grand capital, it also contains the city’s horoscope. Tying in spiritual beliefs with those of the heavens, worshippers typically bring auspicious offerings along with three lengths of satin: pink to represent Mars, green to represent Mercury, and blue for Venus.
With its close proximity to Sanam Luang, a visit to Lak Muang Shrine can be complemented with stops at both the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Extend your day of spiritual adventuring with a short drive to Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) for a moment of escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, or to Wat Suthat for a unique view of the Giant Swing.

Kuan Yim Shrine Thian Fa Foundation Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Kuan Im Shrine at the Thian Fah Foundation

Dedicated to the God of Mercy, the Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara, the Kuan Im Shrine is located inside an over-100-year-old hospital that provides free medical care for the poor. It is said that the goddess became enlightened, but delayed her entry to Nirvana so that she could continue to ease the suffering of others. Constructed in East Asian tradition, this shrine is located in Bangkok’s famous Chinatown, locally referred to as Yaowarat. Note that due to differences in transliteration, you may find this Shrine referred to as Kuan Yim, Kuan Yin, or Guan Yin.

The Kuan Im Shrine is also just a short walk from Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. Stroll along the River Walk or hop on a commuter boat for an evening view of the magical Wat Arun. Insider advice is to find a spot for dinner or drinks with a river view to watch the sun as it sets behind the temple. While the sky puts on a stunning display of oranges and pinks, the individually-set ceramic and metallic tiles that create the façade of Wat Arun begin to sparkle in a sight that truly emulates the feeling of Thai spirituality.

Sri Maha Mariamman Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

The colorful, towering gopuram of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is sure to catch your eye from the Silom streetside, instantly recognizable as one of Bangkok’s most famous Hindu shrines. Built nearly 150 years ago by one of the first Tamil settlers in Bangkok, Vaithi Padayatchi, this sacred site is dedicated to Mariamman, the Rain Mother, worshippers of all religions come to pray for wealth and fertility. Be sure to visit in October, when you’ll be able to witness the Festival of Nine Days (Navaratri), culminating with a parade of the temple’s sacred images through the nearby streets.

Erawan Shrine Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

The Erawan Shrine

Located directly in the heart of Bangkok’s economic (Ratchaprasong Intersection), the Erawan Shrine, dedicated to the Hindu God of Creation, Brahma, is undoubtedly the most popular spiritual spot in the city. Traditional dancers and an accompanying orchestra remain onsite to fulfill the sponsorship of returning worshippers who have had their wishes granted. The blessed smoke rising from the thousands of joss sticks lit daily is even visible from the skywalk overhead! In fact, if you walk along the lifted pathway between the Chit Lom BTS station and the Siam BTS station, you are likely to spot devout worshippers stopping in their tracks and paying their respects with a quick wai and prayer while facing the Erawan Shrine from above. Aligned with the more Animist-leaning belief that spirits reside in the land, the Erawan Shrine holds vital importance for this particular location, build in an effort to ease infrastructure-related woes. Be sure to download the e-Book to learn more about the interesting history behind the construction of the Erawan Shrine…

Ratchaprasong Shrines Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

7 Hindu Shrines at Ratchaprasong

Not far from the Erawan Shrine lies another one of Bangkok’s most spiritual places – the supercenter 7 Hindu Shrines at Ratchaprasong. Spread throughout the area, the 7 shrines can be found in front of Central World Mall, Gaysorn Village Mall, Gaysorn Amarin, and the Intercontinental Hotel. The shrines are dedicated to Trimurti (combining Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu), Ganesh, Umathevi, Lakshmi, Jatulokbal, Indra, and Narayana. With so much spiritual power concentrated in this downtown intersection, you’re sure to find the right sacred location for your specific wishes and needs! Locals share that in order to increase the chances of your wish being granted, the most auspicious times to present your offerings to the deity Trimurti (ideally of red incense, candles and roses) are at 9:30am and 9:30pm.

Mae Nak Phrakhanong Shrine Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Mae Nak Phrakhanong Shrine

Dedicated to one of Thailand’s most famous ghosts, the Mae Nak Phrakhanong Shrine can be found alongside the Phrakhanong Canal. The location, near Wat Mahabut, is marked by three sacred ironwood trees, wrapped with colorful cloth in respect to the local spirits. According to folklore, Mae Nak passed away while pregnant and her ghost, or spirit, returned to haunt her military-conscripted husband. As such, this shrine is popular for pregnant women, men hoping to avoid the military draft, and anyone hoping to win the lottery – it is said that Mae Nak is generous in giving out winning ticket numbers!

Loy Krathong Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Special Mention: Loy Krathong

Thailand is known for its many festivals and holidays, with Loy Krathong being one of the most famous. Colloquially referred to as the Lantern Festival or the Festival of Lights, Loy Krathong is celebrated in a variety of ways throughout Thailand. Northern provinces, such as Chiang Mai, have gained attention for the release of paper lanterns that illuminate in the night sky like glittering stars.

Another tradition of Loy Krathong is to offer small, decorated floats in local canals, rivers, and lakes. These floats, called Krathongs, are detailed with auspicious floral selections, candles, joss sticks, and often small coins and maybe even a piece of the offeror’s own hair! In recent years, efforts have been made to create more sustainable versions of krathongs so as not to crowd the rivers and canals in which they are released. Gather around Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River during the festival to see hundreds, if not thousands, of these Krathongs being decorated, sold, and released.

Whether you decide to release a lantern, a Krathong, or both, the gesture symbolizes letting go, wishing for a brighter future, and paying respect to the spirits of the rivers and the heavens. Be sure to plan your trip to Thailand for late November in order to catch the Loy Krathong festival, which aligns with the month’s full moon.

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The Best Temples in Bangkok

Connect with Spiritual Thailand on your trip by exploring the best temples in Bangkok! While Thailand’s capital is home to countless temples and sacred attractions, from the ornate Grand Palace to the stunning Wat Arun, visitors may be surprised to learn that many smaller, lesser-known locations are amongst the most revered in the city.

Spend a day (or two!) temple-hopping around Bangkok to learn more about the diverse representations of spirituality. Though primarily a mixture of Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, Thai spirituality also encompasses Brahman, Chinese, and Khmer traditions. Echoed by the diverse population that calls Bangkok home, there truly is something for everyone, and a spiritual spot for everyone to encounter the divine, however they define it.

Check out the free “Connecting to Spiritual Thailand: A Guide to 60 Powerspots” e-book, developed by Palotai Design, to learn all about the unique history and importance behind some of Bangkok’s most spiritual places.

Lak Muang Shrine Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Lak Muang Shrine

City pillar shrines hold great importance in Thailand and can be found throughout the country. Bangkok’s city pillar shrine, or Lak Muang Shrine, is one of the most ancient and sacred in the Kingdom. Not only does the City Pillar represent the founding of the grand capital, it also contains the city’s horoscope. Tying in spiritual beliefs with those of the heavens, worshippers typically bring auspicious offerings along with three lengths of satin: pink to represent Mars, green to represent Mercury, and blue for Venus.
With its close proximity to Sanam Luang, a visit to Lak Muang Shrine can be complemented with stops at both the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Extend your day of spiritual adventuring with a short drive to Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) for a moment of escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, or to Wat Suthat for a unique view of the Giant Swing.

Kuan Yim Shrine Thian Fa Foundation Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Kuan Im Shrine at the Thian Fah Foundation

Dedicated to the God of Mercy, the Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara, the Kuan Im Shrine is located inside an over-100-year-old hospital that provides free medical care for the poor. It is said that the goddess became enlightened, but delayed her entry to Nirvana so that she could continue to ease the suffering of others. Constructed in East Asian tradition, this shrine is located in Bangkok’s famous Chinatown, locally referred to as Yaowarat. Note that due to differences in transliteration, you may find this Shrine referred to as Kuan Yim, Kuan Yin, or Guan Yin.

The Kuan Im Shrine is also just a short walk from Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. Stroll along the River Walk or hop on a commuter boat for an evening view of the magical Wat Arun. Insider advice is to find a spot for dinner or drinks with a river view to watch the sun as it sets behind the temple. While the sky puts on a stunning display of oranges and pinks, the individually-set ceramic and metallic tiles that create the façade of Wat Arun begin to sparkle in a sight that truly emulates the feeling of Thai spirituality.

Sri Maha Mariamman Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

The colorful, towering gopuram of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is sure to catch your eye from the Silom streetside, instantly recognizable as one of Bangkok’s most famous Hindu shrines. Built nearly 150 years ago by one of the first Tamil settlers in Bangkok, Vaithi Padayatchi, this sacred site is dedicated to Mariamman, the Rain Mother, worshippers of all religions come to pray for wealth and fertility. Be sure to visit in October, when you’ll be able to witness the Festival of Nine Days (Navaratri), culminating with a parade of the temple’s sacred images through the nearby streets.

Erawan Shrine Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

The Erawan Shrine

Located directly in the heart of Bangkok’s economic (Ratchaprasong Intersection), the Erawan Shrine, dedicated to the Hindu God of Creation, Brahma, is undoubtedly the most popular spiritual spot in the city. Traditional dancers and an accompanying orchestra remain onsite to fulfill the sponsorship of returning worshippers who have had their wishes granted. The blessed smoke rising from the thousands of joss sticks lit daily is even visible from the skywalk overhead! In fact, if you walk along the lifted pathway between the Chit Lom BTS station and the Siam BTS station, you are likely to spot devout worshippers stopping in their tracks and paying their respects with a quick wai and prayer while facing the Erawan Shrine from above. Aligned with the more Animist-leaning belief that spirits reside in the land, the Erawan Shrine holds vital importance for this particular location, build in an effort to ease infrastructure-related woes. Be sure to download the e-Book to learn more about the interesting history behind the construction of the Erawan Shrine…

Ratchaprasong Shrines Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

7 Hindu Shrines at Ratchaprasong

Not far from the Erawan Shrine lies another one of Bangkok’s most spiritual places – the supercenter 7 Hindu Shrines at Ratchaprasong. Spread throughout the area, the 7 shrines can be found in front of Central World Mall, Gaysorn Village Mall, Gaysorn Amarin, and the Intercontinental Hotel. The shrines are dedicated to Trimurti (combining Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu), Ganesh, Umathevi, Lakshmi, Jatulokbal, Indra, and Narayana. With so much spiritual power concentrated in this downtown intersection, you’re sure to find the right sacred location for your specific wishes and needs! Locals share that in order to increase the chances of your wish being granted, the most auspicious times to present your offerings to the deity Trimurti (ideally of red incense, candles and roses) are at 9:30am and 9:30pm.

Mae Nak Phrakhanong Shrine Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Mae Nak Phrakhanong Shrine

Dedicated to one of Thailand’s most famous ghosts, the Mae Nak Phrakhanong Shrine can be found alongside the Phrakhanong Canal. The location, near Wat Mahabut, is marked by three sacred ironwood trees, wrapped with colorful cloth in respect to the local spirits. According to folklore, Mae Nak passed away while pregnant and her ghost, or spirit, returned to haunt her military-conscripted husband. As such, this shrine is popular for pregnant women, men hoping to avoid the military draft, and anyone hoping to win the lottery – it is said that Mae Nak is generous in giving out winning ticket numbers!

Loy Krathong Bangkok Spiritual Thailand

Special Mention: Loy Krathong

Thailand is known for its many festivals and holidays, with Loy Krathong being one of the most famous. Colloquially referred to as the Lantern Festival or the Festival of Lights, Loy Krathong is celebrated in a variety of ways throughout Thailand. Northern provinces, such as Chiang Mai, have gained attention for the release of paper lanterns that illuminate in the night sky like glittering stars.

Another tradition of Loy Krathong is to offer small, decorated floats in local canals, rivers, and lakes. These floats, called Krathongs, are detailed with auspicious floral selections, candles, joss sticks, and often small coins and maybe even a piece of the offeror’s own hair! In recent years, efforts have been made to create more sustainable versions of krathongs so as not to crowd the rivers and canals in which they are released. Gather around Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River during the festival to see hundreds, if not thousands, of these Krathongs being decorated, sold, and released.

Whether you decide to release a lantern, a Krathong, or both, the gesture symbolizes letting go, wishing for a brighter future, and paying respect to the spirits of the rivers and the heavens. Be sure to plan your trip to Thailand for late November in order to catch the Loy Krathong festival, which aligns with the month’s full moon.

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